Counselling and coaching services can be expensive, and those costs can sometimes affect those who need it most. Clients might delay getting the care they need, or might forgo counselling or coaching altogether. Fortunately, for members of the local Vancouver community, affordable counselling and life coaching services are offered by dedicated professionals-in-training at the Rhodes Wellness College Counselling Centre. All of the centre’s counsellors and coaches are students at Rhodes College who are in the second and final year of their professional training program.
The Counselling Centre is a win-win for both students and clients. Clients benefit from excellent counselling and coaching services, and students can benefit from hands-on experience working with real clients. Students can either recruit or refer their own clients, or clients can view the counsellor or coach’s profile online and inquire about making an appointment.
Like many students completing the second year of their program, Rachele Kehler provides counselling services to clients at the Rhodes Wellness College Counselling Centre. “We offer this to the community, but it’s also a bonus for students to get that real-life experience so when we go into the field we’re confident and know what we’re doing” Rachele explains (Kehler, 2017).
Read on to learn more about Rachele’s experience at the Rhodes Wellness College Counselling Centre, and how the centre positively impacts the community as well as the lives of the students working there.
How the Rhodes Wellness College Counselling Centre Benefits Students
Rhodes Wellness College employs an experiential learning model, meaning that programs are focused on providing students with hands-on skills. Working at the Counselling Centre is just one of many opportunities students have to hone their skills under the guidance of instructors at the wellness college.
For Rachele, that hands-on experience is essential. “I would say the biggest benefit [of working at the Counselling Centre] is the hands-on experience right off the bat, but we still have that support to debrief with staff and other students,” Rachele explains. “If we ever run into anything we’re not familiar with, we can get support from [the staff].” (Kehler, 2017) The centre also has the same professional environment one would find at a regular counselling clinic. In this way, students get a sneak peek of what a day in the life of a counsellor is like.
However, hands-on experience isn’t the only way the Counselling Centre benefits students. Rachele also notes that the Counselling Centre offers a valuable opportunity for students to establish and expand their client base before graduation. “It’s a really great place to get the ball rolling,” she explains, “It’s a huge opportunity to get really comfortable in the role of a counsellor or coach, and an opportunity to connect with a whole other world of people you may not have been able to find on your own.” (Kehler, 2017) In fact, even though Rachele will be graduating in a month, she has already begun working as a holistic counsellor and life stylist with several clients of her own. (Kehler, 2017).
How the Community Benefits from the Rhodes Wellness College Counselling Centre
If you’re considering enrolling in counselling and wellness courses in Vancouver, you can look forward to giving back to the community by providing your services at the Counselling Centre. According to Canada’s Mental Health Commission, of all adults who need counselling, only one in three are actually receiving it (Anderssen, 2015). In addition, Canadians who fall into the lowest income category are more at risk of having poor to fair mental health (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 2017). With counselling and coaching services priced affordably at $25 per session, the Counselling Centre offers clients a chance to receive professional quality counselling without needing to make a hefty investment.
For Rachele, this affordable price is one of the reasons why she believes the Counselling Centre is so valuable to Vancouver residents: “at a cost that low, it will benefit the community around Vancouver and anyone else who wants to come in and partake as a client. [Clients] get the experience of having a really qualified counsellor in front of them at a fraction of the cost.” (Kehler, 2017)
While the Counselling Centre is a wonderful option for low-income clients, it is open to all who would like to have a counselling or coaching session. In fact, Rachele notes that the Counselling Centre can also be a great place for clients to try counselling for the first time. If a client is considering counselling, but feels unsure about whether it would be a good fit for their needs, the centre can be a wonderful opportunity to try out services. “There’s no obligation on the client’s part to stick it out if they don’t want to,” says Rachele. “It’s a safe space to try it out and see if you like it and if it works for you.” (Kehler, 2017)
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Anderssen, E. (2015, May 22). The case for publicly funded therapy. Retrieved from The Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-case-for-publicly-funded-therapy/article24567332/
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (2017). Mental Illness and Addictions: Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/about_camh/newsroom/for_reporters/Pages/addictionmentalhealthstatistics.aspx
Kehler, R. (2017, March 28). (J. Stafford, Interviewer)